Thursday, February 26, 2009

New Mexico's DP Bill Dies, Part 1: Basics of Selling

The DP bill lost today, in a 25-17 stunner.

Considering that the Lt Gov was running the show in the Senate because she wanted to break the tie and pass the bill, the vote count itself is probably an indicator that our side coughed up the ball.

Beyond that, the advocates for LGBT New Mexicans received this spanking after they had given away the store in desperation.

This was mishandled profoundly, at so many levels, that it's hard to name them all, but I'll try. First installment:

Selling against objections, state politics edition.

The first thing you learn in selling any complex intangible is how to listen for the objection. The first three things that come after 'Can't do it because...' are excuses. Keep your prospect talking and you'll learn what the real barrier is, and if it's a negotiable item you may be able to overcome the objection.

Rookies confuse the first thing the prospect says ('That's too much car for my 17 year old', 'I'm not sure this isn't just marriage for the gays') with the real objection. Then they reveal their inexperience by fixing the product to overcome the objection ('This model is a 4 cylinder', 'It says right here they're not married').

But since the real barrier was deeper and more fundamental, sometimes changing the price or the product or the terms just can't make the sale. Sometimes they just don't want what you're selling.

Giving away married couples, Indians and anyone who is taken to a Catholic exchange for promised votes that weren't the kind of mistake I made in my first year on the job. Wet-behind-the-ears bullshit.

And the proof is in the pudding here--the next Governor of the state moved her schedule around, so she could break the tie on this close vote.

25-17. Learn to whip count, kids.

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